Summer is May Andersen's favorite time of the year in Copenhagen. "There are so many things to do," she says. "We have just three or four hours of darkness in the summer. You can stay outside all day and night because it's always light. Sleep? You don't." Knowing how to get by on little sleep has been necessary because Andersen has been quite busy over the past few years. She got her start in modeling at 13 when she was spotted on a Copenhagen street by a photographer. At 20 she is one of the fashion world's rising stars, having been in ads for Matrix Biolage, BCBG, Victoria's Secret and J. Crew. She now lives in New York City with her two dogs. This is her first appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
I was always a good student," Michelle Alves says. "Almost a nerd." In Londrina, an agricultural city famous for its fertile purple soil, Alves earned high marks in civil engineering at one of Brazil's top universities. But this would-be engineer had designs on the modeling world, and with the blessings of her mother (a lawyer) and father (an engineer), she headed to S�o Paulo at 18, and signed with a modeling agency. She has since done ads for Christian Dior, Valentino and Armani, and been in runway shows for Versace, Stella McCartney and John Galliano. In November she was in the Victoria's Secret holiday fashion show. The 21-year-old, who now lives in New York City, says, "Modeling works another side of me, the emotional side. I was very intellectual, and I like to learn. I like to be able to add something to the conversation." This is Alves's first appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
Ana Beatriz Barros
Beauty clearly runs deep in the bloodlines of the Barros family. Both Ana Beatriz and her older sister, Patricia, are well-known models. "She always tells everyone I am the most beautiful woman in the world," Ana, 20, says of Patricia, 22. "And I tell everyone that she is." (Alas, the youngest of the sisters wants to become a doctor, not a model.) Born in tiny Itabira and reared in bustling Rio de Janeiro, Ana and Patricia were walking on a Rio beach five years ago when they were spotted by a representative from Elite Model Management. Ana has done ads for Guess, Chanel, Replay Jeans and Victoria's Secret, and has walked the runway for Christian Dior, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino. Barros, who speaks Portuguese, English and Italian, lives in New York City. For fun, she bowls (she's still hoping to break 100) and roots for Flamengo, the most popular soccer club in Brazil. This is her second appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
Isabeli Fontana says she can't wait to become a mother. And she won't have to wait very long. The 19-year-old is due to deliver a baby boy early next month, and she and her fianc�, fellow Brazilian model Alvaro Jacomossi, already have a name picked out: Zion Fontana Jacomossi. "We wanted to give him a strong name, and Zion means 'God' or 'blessed,' " she says. Though Fontana's still just a teen, she is a seasoned pro in modeling. She was 12 when she told her mother she wanted to be a model; one year later she was a finalist in an Elite Model Look Contest in Sao Paulo. Fontana is the youngest model ever to appear in the Victoria's Secret catalog, has been a fixture in the Paris and Milan collection runway shows for five years and has been in ad campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Valentino. Fontana, who fives in New York but makes frequent trips back to Brazil, is fluent in Portuguese, English and Italian. This marks her second appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
Though Yamila Diaz-Rahi had been working in the fashion world for several years, it was her appearance on the cover of last year's Swimsuit Issue that got her noticed on the street. "When people see you in the airport," she says, "they look at you like, 'Is it her?' " The 26-year-old was discovered by a modeling scout for a top Milan agency eight years ago while vacationing with her family on a beach near Punta del Este, a resort city in Uruguay. She has since gone on to become the first Latina spokesperson for Cover Girl and appeared in ads for Replay Jeans and Victoria's Secret. This is her fifth appearance in the Swim-suit Issue. Last year she added cinematic credits to her r�sum� with a lead role in the Italian romantic comedy Il Pesce Innamorato (The Fish in Love). Diaz-Rahi likes to ride horses, listen to Argentine music and cheer on Argentina's Boca Juniors soccer club. She lives in New York City but makes sure she sees her family in Buenos Aires at least four times a year.
She will one day master the art of cooking, Reka Ebergenyi vows, though that day is not close at hand. "I would love to learn to cook, but I am too lazy," she says. "Everybody cooks for me, or I just call out." Such are the benefits of being one of the freshest faces in fashion. Though born in Budapest, she grew up in Sopron, an ancient city near the Austrian border. Ebergenyi attended a school that specialized in fashion design, where she caught the eye of a Hungarian designer during one of the school's modeling shows. Modeling for less than two years, Ebergenyi, 21, was the one newcomer in the 2002 Victoria's Secret holiday fashion show and just completed her first major ad campaign, for Joop! She was recently shot for the cover of German Vogue, and last month she walked the runaway for Gianfranco Ferr�, which was her introduction to couture. This is her first appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
Bridget Hall stays active when she's not modeling; she snowboards in the winter, wakeboards in the summer and says she's dying to go skydiving again. (She might get her brother, Josh, to take the leap with her—he's a pilot, so it's not likely he's afraid of heights...or planes.) She exploded into modeling a decade ago, and is now one of the world's most famous faces. She got her start at 10 when her mother walked her into a modeling agency in Dallas and has since been on magazine covers all over the world; she has since done ads for Anne Klein, Gucci, Guess Jeans and Versace. In 1996, when Hall was just 18, she was listed in Forbes as one of the top 10 money-making supermodels. Now 25, Hall lives in Brooklyn. This is her second appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
LES ULIS, FRANCE
Here's a compelling argument for why you should always mail your letters at your local post office: You never know whom you might discover. Or who might discover you. Seven years ago Noemie Lenoir was buying stamps for her mother at a post office near her home when she was spotted by a representative of Ford Models. That chance encounter led to a contract, and this 23-year-old has since put her stamp on the modeling world. Lenoir has been featured in campaigns for L'Or�al, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret, and is making her third appearance in the Swimsuit Issue. In 2001 she made her first foray into acting by playing one of Cleopatra's courtesans in Ast�rix & Ob�lix: Mission Cl�op�tre. Her second movie, Gomez et Tavares, opens in France in May. She plans to pursue more acting roles, but when she needs to get away from the pressures of her career, she visits her mother, who lives on R�union island, a slice of paradise off the coast of Madagascar.
LONG LAKE, MINNESOTA
Danger has a bunkmate in this golden-haired Gopher girl. Back in her native Minnesota, Melissa Keller loved nothing more than to jump off bridges and cliffs. "We used to do bridge-jumping all the time in Minnesota, and I later did some cliff-jumping in Jamaica," she says. Keller got her start in modeling at 15 when her father took photos of her to a Minneapolis agency, hoping to persuade his daughter to renounce her passion for all things punk. Now 24, she has appeared in campaigns for Revlon, L'Or�al, Aveda and Gap. Keller splits her time between New York City and Los Angeles but says Cuba is her favorite place. "It's magical," she says. "It's like going back in time." Despite her cosmopolitan lifestyle, Keller is true to her hometown teams, pulling for the Minnesota Vikings and the Timberwolves. Keller, who is recently single, has her nickname ("Foxy") tattooed on the back of her neck. This is her second appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
JOS� BONIFACIO, BRAZIL
When Juliana Martins was growing up she had to get used to having people stare at her lush lips. "Many people made fun of my lips," she says. "They called me Doll Lips. But a lot of people like my lips now. I like them too." From her lips to our pages. Just 19, Martins is making her first appearance in the Swimsuit Issue. She has appeared in ads for Ralph Lauren, Bruno Magli and Keita, and walked the runway for Armani, Emanuel Ungaro and Blumarine. She got her start in modeling at 13 when she was a finalist for an Elite Model Look Contest and started traveling the world two years later. She loves to dance, hates to fly and is a rabid fan of the Palmeiras soccer club, traditionally one of the top teams in Brazil. She now lives in New York City. If you are nice to her, she may show you the small flower tattoo on the back of her neck, which she designed herself.